Just like humans, animals employ interesting methods to attract mates. Most male animals either elaborate nests, fight with other males or even make different sounds, among others. Usually, such methods are believed to showcase the animal’s strength, which seemingly attracts females.
However, when it comes to dolphins, they tend to let aside the strength and apparently, focus more on romanticism.
Male Dolphins and Their Sweet Gifts
A new study shows that male dolphins use gifts as a method of attracting potential mates. They also have an interesting and complex ritual which includes jumping into the air and singing. While the singing and jumping part is somewhat common and even normal in the animal kingdom, it is very rare for animals to offer gifts to attract partners.
The study team captured footage of male humpback dolphins in Western Australia and then analyzed this behavior. Observations on the dolphins in that area revealed their unusual method of attraction. A male dolphin first came with a marine sponge which then got pushed towards a female. This showed that male dolphins offered large marine sponges to female ones to impress them.
Dolphins are intelligent creatures, and this research also shows that they have a high level of social complexity. Researchers pointed out that giving gifts is very rare occurrence among non-human mammals.
Another interesting finding is that male dolphins have wingmen that help them attract mates. Large male dolphins worked together to attract sexual partners. This is yet another piece of evidence which shows that dolphins have a more complex than believed method of attracting partners.
A study paper with the results was published in the journal Scientific Reports. The research team mentioned that it wants and plans to continue its study of male dolphins. Specialists want to do so to find out more about the fascinating and complex life of dolphins and their mating rituals.
Image Source: MaxPixel